Held hostage by a beast named Spud


Last week, my neighbor, Brenda, brought me some delicious homemade bread along with jar of sour dough starter so I could begin making my own.  Yum.

I began toying with the idea of setting up a booth at the farmer’s market.


Perhaps you remember this bread and it’s infamous sour dough starter which began circling the globe in the last century. It was widely known as Amish Friendship bread it is the culinary equivalent of a chain letter. You’re afraid to let the starter die and just keep baking bread until it takes over your life.

It must be fed (with sugar and potato flakes) and watered every three to five days or it will die.  Twelve hours after feeding it you must add the flour and let it rise another 12 hours (not a minute more).  I’m surprised it doesn’t require a stroll around the block every morning.

Anyway, this beast has taken over my life.  I’ve even given him a name –Spud. Someone asked me to go to lunch yesterday after church but I regretfully declined since I was overdue feeding Spud and preparing  the next batch.

The recipe makes two large loaves or three or four smaller loaves. Since you ARE REQUIRED to bake the bread every three to five days, I figure I’ll have about 32 loaves by the end of the month.

Most of my friends are dieting and hint that I shouldn’t bring them any more bread.  So I’ve taken to dropping them off at their doors, ringing the bell, then running away.  It’s like Trick or Treat in reverse.

I strolled over to Brenda’s to pawn a loaf off on her. I guess not. She stood in the middle of her kitchen surrounded by freshly baked loaves of bread.

My friend Esther Goodman heard I was trying to get rid of my bread and said she would like some.  “Oh great, tell me where you live and I’ll drop a loaf by this afternoon.” I jumped in the car and rushed it right over.  This was my first “order.”

Getting no answer at the door I left it on her porch and e-mailed her later to let her know the delivery had been made.

This morning I received a response from Esther.  “I’m wondering if you left the bread at 208 South Nash instead of 208 North Nash,” she asked.

Oh dear – I didn’t know there two Nashes.  Wonder who got my loaf of bread?  Whoever you are, I hope you enjoyed it.

Today I became anxious–did I stir Spud today? Was it day three or four? Did I need to add sugar and potato flakes today by 1 p.m. or was it 1 a.m.? I wonder if our mail carrier would like some bread.

Yet, the bread is so good, I’m determined to keep it going.  In a few years I’ll be dragging my oxygen tank over to the Jiggly Wiggly to buy more food for Spud.

3 thoughts on “Held hostage by a beast named Spud

  1. You’re a better woman than I. I had some of the “Amish friendship bread” about 20 years ago. After the thrill of the first couple of loaves, the new wore off and I couldn’t put up with demanding bread, so I just let the starter die and tossed it. But then I don’t forward chain letters, either.

  2. Emily,
    I’m going to bring you a recipe that you make up – no kneading – and you can leave it in the frig for 14 days – no feeding, either. It’s so much better than the Amish Friendship Bread and a heck of a lot less stress and work.

  3. Martha, would you share the better bread recipe with me. It sounds like a winner. Thanks

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